Preparing for Brexit

On 23 June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, in Kingston the Referendum vote was 38.4% leave & 61.6% remain. Kingston welcomes people from all over the world who make a huge contribution to the community and this includes 11,000 people from other countries in the European Union.

Kingston Council believes diversity is one of the boroughs greatest strengths and wants to protect the rights of all its residents, including EU citizens. We are committed to supporting the community, residents and businesses in Kingston when the UK leaves the EU.

EU Citizens

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK.

If you’re a European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. Those who already have five years continuous lawful resident in the UK will be eligible for settled status. Others will be able to remain in the UK to build-up five years' continuous residence provided they apply for pre-settled status.

Gaining settled status will ensure your right to live in the UK and will allow you and your family to continue to have the same access to healthcare, benefits and pensions as you currently have.You need to apply by 30 June 2021 or 31 December 2020 if the U.K leaves the EU without a deal.

Kingston is one of the local authorities offering EU, EEA and Swiss citizens free advice and support to complete the ID verification part of the process.

To remain in the UK after 2020, EEA and Swiss citizens moving to the UK after exit, and their close family members, will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, a new scheme that will launch after exit.


The Government has launched a prepare your business for Brexit tool to help businesses prepare for Brexit.  You can use this tool to find out what you may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU, what’s changing in your industry and information on specific changes to rules such as:

  • employing EU Citizens
  • Importing, exporting and transporting
  • operating in the EU
  • Regulation and standards for goods and products
  • Using personal data
  • European funding
  • Intellectual property
  • public sector procurement

Some of the key things you need to know:

  • If you import or export goods or services to the EU make sure you register to use transitional simplified procedures (TSP).
  • If your business trades with the EU you'll need to register online for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
  • Your contracts may need updating to continue to lawfully transfer personal and customer data between the UK and EU. There is unlikely to be any change to UK laws on food, product safety or consumer rights when the UK leaves the EU.

The Government has created an employer's toolkit with advice and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU settlement scheme.

For further information about the potential impact on businesses, what support is available and proposals for how Brexit should be approached from a business perspective see:

The Mayor of London has launched nine new London Growth Hub Centres to support small businesses as they prepare for Brexit. The centres will offer face-to-face advice and resources.

Travelling abroad

To visit Europe after Brexit there are things you need to do before you travel. These include:

This applies both if you’re a tourist or travelling for business. Business travel includes activities such as travelling for meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music. For more information visit the visit Europe website  


The Department for Education has set up no-deal preparation pages for schools and further education and apprenticeship providers

Further information